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From the Desk of Assemblyman Michael Montesano: August 27, 2010

On the Legislature’s Special Session

Following spring and summer budget negotiations offering reckless borrowing, payment deferrals, and one-shot gimmicks, the Assembly Majority leadership, under direction from Governor Paterson, has finally settled on their deficit-closing plan: a phantom federal bailout.“Like the Roman emperor who made a desert and called it peace, Governor Paterson has demanded another unproductive special session and called it progress,” said Assemblyman Michael A. Montesano (R,I,C-Glen Head).

Corrupt Albany insiders are looking ahead to the November election – and bankrupting the next generation. A bill was offered to make $1.1 billion in across-the-board cuts and place the savings in a ‘contingency’ fund. There’s just two problems: the U.S. Congress has not guaranteed that it will appropriate the equivalent Federal Medicaid Assistance Percentages (FMAP) before it departs for August recess, leaving our taxpayers to cover any shortfall; and the FMAP contingency fund cuts payments to Long Island services without touching CUNY senior colleges and other New York City special interests. This is unfair and I opposed it.

I also voted to stop Governor Paterson’s proposed $50 million tax on financial-industry workers who do business in New York but reside elsewhere. With surrounding states such as Connecticut and Pennsylvania facing severe budget shortfalls, the so-called hedge-fund-manager-commuter tax would have driven one of the Empire State’s chief job-creating sectors and economic engines toward greener and less tax-happy pastures.